Sonnets with not one but two s’s (esses?)!
Which is to say:
…Write a real-life sonnet that follows all the rules.
- 14 lines, of course.
- Also iambs: five of ’em per line.
- A rhyme scheme!
- A volta! (Which is to say: a turn, a change, a place where you stop on a dime and redirect things.)
- Lots of sonnets are expressions of intense emotion. Often (but certainly not always) they’re about love.
Now, that’s a lot to do in a fairly small, controlled space, especially if you’re new (or resistant!) to the sonneteering. So. Here’s those “levels” I talked about:
- Level I: 14 lines. (We can all pretty much attain Level I in our sleep.)
- Level II: 14 lines + 10 syllables per line. (Ditto.)
- Level III: 14 lines + 5 beats per line. (This one’s a shade tougher, just because you have to account for the stressed syllables.)
- Level IV: 14 lines + iambic pentameter. (Shakespeare’s Apprentice! [Or, if you prefer: Petrarch’s!])
- Level V: The whole kit-and-caboodle. Plus a rhyme scheme. And a volta. (Expert Sonneteer!)
…Write a real-life sonnet that breaks all the rules.
- And yet it’s somehow still, uh, sonnet-y-ish.
- This is one of the few Invites that’s mandatory. Have both of these in your folder by the end of next week.
- Also: for more on sonnets (and for some more examples) visit the Academy of American Poets’ page on sonnets.